Fredrick Mugira in Doha Qatar,
November 26, 2012
A global catastrophe looms and something must be done now to avert it. This catastrophe will be caused by climate change.
This is according to Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, outgoing president of the UN Climate Change Conference.
“Urgent action is needed if we are to avoid a global catastrophe in the next generation,” she stresses.
Nkoana-Mashabane, who is the South African Foreign Minister was on Monday 26th, 2012 officially opening the United Nation’s two-week conference on Climate Change (COP18/CMP8) that has attracted over 1700 participants from up to 194 nations cross the world.
She called for dedication and warned against indecisiveness in the struggle against climate change.
“We cannot waver in our resolve to rise to this challenge,” said Nkoana-Mashabane vehemently as the participants listened attentively.
Later after her address, COP 17 President Maite Nkoana-Mashabane handed over the conference presidency to Abdullah bin Hamad Al- Attiyah, chairman of Qatar’s Administrative Control and Transparency Authority. Attiyah is now the COP 18 President.
In his speech, Attiyah described climate change as, “ a challenge for humanity.”
He told the participants to take advantage of the conference to find solutions for coping with this challenge.
Speaking during the same occasion, the UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres told the participants to pay attention to the developing nations’ urgent need for financial and technical support in the struggle against global warming.
Clad in Islamic attire, Figueres noted that the conference in Doha will endeavor to conclude some of the plans that were initiated in past United Nations Climate Change Conferences, citing the plans instituted in Bali.
She noted that the discussion will work out a legal binding agreement obliging developed countries to cut their carbon emissions.
Signed in 1997, the Kyoto protocol mandates reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere. Such gases trap heat leading to an increase in temperatures on the earth or what is termed as global warming.
However, some industrialized nations including USA have never ratified this agreement while countries such as Russia and China have expressed their intention not to participate in the second commitment period.
Many developing countries now want developed countries to show more practical commitment to the emission reduction.